[/IMG] I notice these benches, funded by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Ah, my tax dollars at work... [/IMG] [/IMG] [/IMG] I continue east, following the river and wondering how many boats cross at night, bringing cargos of contraband in search of fat profits. Oh how I wish the smugglers were brining over cases of that great brew, Beer Lao [/IMG] I Arrive at Chiang Khong and take a room in an old Teak house overlooking the river. Man, what a view! Later I go to the ferry and ask about taking my bike across to Laos; the official tells me to get my passport stamped at _____? Its a Thai word unfamiliar to me, but I'm guessing that its at the new Friendship Bridge further down stream. I mosy down there and sure enough that's where you get the documents for crossing the river. Bikes aren't allowed on the bridge; Asian logic... The next morning there is no fog, so I'm on the road about 0900, headed to Phayao. I remember placing my bamboo paddock stand near my bike- but its not there the next day. I ask the lady at reception if she has seen it and she says no, then barks out an order and some kid comes out with a meat cleaver that is as big as he is; they are going to make me a new one! I say mai pen rai, no problem but the lady looks at me with deep concern and asks if my lost item was expensive or not I reassure her its OK, then I saddle up. I try to take as many secondary roads as possible, so I head south on 1174, then 1020 and 1292 to Chun. All good roads with little traffic. I stop at a road side noodle stand for a huge bowl of steaming soup for the bargain price of 20 baht! From Chun, I take 1021 into Phayao and who do I see there my German buddy on his trusty Phantom! I ask him for hotel recommendations and he says "follow me!" He takes me to one of his regular stops Tharn Thong Hotel, right in town, one of those ubiquitous Chinese hotels in most provincial cities. Its a functional room, clean and only 230 baht, including Wifi and free coffee in the morning [/IMG] Later in the evening we drink a coffee and watch the sun set over the lake. Man, what a senic spot! [/IMG] Again the next morning there is no fog, so I'm on the road around 0830. I take Rt120 west, then head south on 1035. Great road and hardly any traffic. I try to find a road to cross the mountains west of Pan, but no can do so I back track and head north west on 1252. Man, the first part of 1252 is really out in the jungle! I see a couple of house clusters with no electricity- but nice pickups; then I see the coffee bushes planted along side the road. If I continue on 1252 I will eventually junction with 118 but I decide to go west on some back roads. Some interesting scenery there and I'll definitely head back there some time to check out the hot spring (forgot the name) on a day trip from Chiang Mai. I eventually link up with 118, about 20 kms from Chiang Mai I head straight to Sausage King for a cheeseburger I really enjoyed the ride, 1,025 kilometers over five nights. The most I paid for a room was 450 baht at Fang; the least was 230 at Phayao. Now I need to take the plunge and take my bike across to Laos! Chok dee!